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Council approves funding for businesses to expand outdoor seating

​Lethbridge City Council on Tuesday voted unanimously to approve up to $40,000 to provide businesses city-wide with expanded outdoor seating options for patios or parklets.

Business owners can apply for a 50 per cent matching grant, up to $1,000, for improvement-related costs such as furnishings, barriers, heaters, plants and planters. As per an amendment from Coun. Blaine Hyggen, which carried unanimously, this funding will be retroactive to Jan. 1, 2021, for those businesses who have already added new patios or parklets.

The City of Lethbridge has an Outdoor Patio and Parklet Program in place to expedite permitting and provide technical support to businesses for expanded outdoor seating. With warmer weather and additional Provincial COVID-19 restrictions, interest from businesses to install a patio or parklet has increased dramatically in the past couple of weeks.

"The recent Provincial announcement of COVID-19 restrictions has again limited indoor seating capacities for businesses," says Councillor Mark Campbell, who brought forward the motion. "Council believes increasing support for this program is an important decision to continue to support our business community."

Funding will come from the Municipal Revenue Stabilization Reserve (MRSR). Council also included in the motion that a program status report be provided by December 31, 2021, or at such time the funding is depleted, if earlier. 

More information on how to apply for a patio or parklet is available here: https://www.lethbridge.ca/Doing-Business